How to Sundance in style in SLC

By Joshua Jones

Did you know more people will watch Sundance premieres in Salt Lake than in Park City this year? Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center and Broadway Centre Cinemas will host dozens of screenings and for the first time, Megaplex at The Gateway joins as an official venue. But where to eat, drink, and party like Park City? We’ve got that covered too, including two official Sundance Lounges as well as swanky bars and restaurants where maybe you’ll get a glimpse of a Streep, Stiller, or Scorsese:


Showing more than 30 films, Broadway will be buzzing. Thankfully, parking will be easy at the multi-story garage just east of the theater.

Have some time? Make reservations at Copper Onion–a Salt Lake stalwart that is still consistently delightful. Or, try something new at Franklin Ave like the Mafaldine–a duck ragu with poached egg, grana padano, and gremolata. Both restaurants are decadent, both offer items you’ll crave long after leaving, and both will require a reservation.

Are you racing from one preview to the next? Try Roctaco on Edison Street. The menu features unique tacos from around the globe and the flavors are out of this world. The interior is as creative as the ingredients–like the Meow Wolf of the taco world. Don’t fear if the line goes out the door–it moves quickly.

The new outpost of local’s favorite, Laziz Kitchen is another option for a fast casual bite. On Edison and 200 South, Lebanese food is served in a modern, airy cafe–don’t miss the muhammara and halloumi! And, be sure to discover the tiny speakeasy in the back, appropriately named, Back Door.

After the show, check out the official Sundance Lounge at Copper Common. Grab a cocktail and enjoy live entertainment that starts at 8 and 10 pm every night. A roster of local’s favorites include Michelle Moonshine, Sara Degraw, and Nate Spenser.

Need a late night nosh and not afraid to mingle with SLC’s late night denizens? Kitty-corner from Broadway is Pie Hole with cheap (and good) pizza-by-the-slice, canned beer, and oodles of personality.


The Rose is one of our favorite performing arts spaces in the heart of downtown. Here, you’re in the middle of steak city.

Spencer’s For Steaks and Chops inside the Hilton is your classic carnivores castle with voluptuous red booths and mahogany lined walls. Nearby is Ruth’s Chris, but the closest to the theater is locally-owned Christopher’s Prime. Enjoy the filet mignon and amp it up with the bourbon peppercorn sauce.

Have less time and excited for that bio pic on Michael J. Fox or the doc on Stephen Curry? Head right across the street to the local institution known as Squatter’s; sit at the miles-long bar for friendly and quick service. In January, you can’t go wrong with a Full Suspension Pale Ale and bowl of Buffalo Chili topped with cheddar cheese.

The Rose is in a great location for after-show cocktails and conversation–especially at Post Office Place on Market Street. They specialize in Japanese Whiskys, but have a full bar. Soak up the martinis with a katsu (fried chicken) slider!


Ready to Sundance in style? Vibrating and reclining electric loungers await festival goers at the newest host venue. Not sure Redford would have ever imagined this 42 years ago!

Luxuriate at the brand new Italian Graffiti, seconds from the theater. An ode to Rome, a bacchanal to Bologna, Italian Graffiti is the best the country has to offer in a lavishly modern setting.

Not in the mood for a meal fit for the Gods? Try Maxwell’s Tiny Bar, a half block east of The Gateway. It is another new Italian restaurant that lives up to its name–a postage stamp space whipping out moon-sized pizzas and meatballs the diameter of your fist–if your fist is the size of John Goodman.

While at The Gateway, don’t miss the second Sundance Lounge, directly beneath the theater at HallPass. No Sundance credentials are required for the daily acts at 7 pm and 9 pm. Plus, the elevated food hall offers a half dozen eateries and a bar–don’t miss the lobster roll at Colossal Lobster or the bao bun at Graffiti Bao!